I’ve read that Daniel Lanois has been producer on the new Neil Young album. I have my reservations about this.
I am, by and large, against the Big Name Producers monopolizing the great artists and making them sound all the same (that sameness being the producer’s vision, not the artists’). Lanois does it to U2 all the time (not that I consider U2 great anymore, but lots of people do and that’s their lookout). He did it to Dylan and Emmy Lou Harris too. Bob Rock’s another offender, Mutt Lang, Rick Rubin. They all put their mark on the output, that ‘sameness of sound,’ and I’m just afraid that Lanois is gonna make Young sound like Lanois. In my head, it sounds horrible.
Neil Young doesn’t need the help, thanks very much, no matter what he’s quoted as saying in that blow job piece I read in the Globe And Mail. Which, by the way, spent as much time talking about what they were wearing as it did about the songs, so screw you, G&M.
Of course, I haven’t heard the record yet. But when I do, it will be reviewed in these pages. My fingers are crossed that Young has remained relatively unscathed by this new development.